Weight Loss Foods That Improve Your Mood

You may think that your mood depends on how you feel when you wake up in the morning or what happens to you as you go through your day. More often than not, your mood is not only due to your life, but also to the chemicals in your body that are supposed to regulate your mood and sense of well being. However, these chemicals are not always balanced as they should be and that can leave you feeling down, angry, frustrated, depressed and ill-tempered. Do you want to feel better, happier and more relaxed without turning to that tub of double chocolate fudge ice cream for comfort? Try adding some of these weight loss foods that improve your mood to your daily diet.

There are many foods that not only help you to lose weight, but will help to improve your mood. Yes, it's true, losing weight can make you happier, at least as far as your foods are concerned.

There are many foods that not only help you to lose weight, but will help to improve your mood. Yes, it's true, losing weight can make you happier, at least as far as your foods are concerned.

Some foods are going to make you feel good, but that does not mean they are good for you. These foods are called “comfort foods” and we all have some. Usually comfort foods are high in processed carbohydrates, preservatives, chemicals and sugars. When you eat these types of foods you experience a spike in blood sugar, which gives you a temporary “high”. You may feel great for a little while, but that feeling does not last and even worse, these foods are the main culprits for contributing to weight gain. That, as you already know, is not something that is going to be good for your mood in the long-run. There are better ways to use foods to improve your mood and sense of well-being while still sticking to your diet.

Protein is an essential food to add to your diet both for losing weight and improving your mood. It will give you a jolt of feel-good hormones or anything like that, but you may notice that a diet higher in protein can help your mood stay more level throughout the day. The more proteins you eat the less hungry you are going to be, and that means you are going to eat less of those processed carbs that cause spikes and slumps in your blood sugar that throw your mood completely out of whack (see the post “Ways to Fight Sugar Cravings” for more information). Try eating a good source of protein for breakfast every day to get you and your mood started out on the right foot. Protein snacks like tuna fish, nuts, protein powder shakes and lean beef jerky are also wonderful ways to keep both your hunger at by and you in a good mood between meals. For a full list of high-protein foods, please see the post “Daily Protein Requirements”.

Vitamin D may also be a key to good mood and weight loss (I recently wrote about this in the post “The Link between Vitamin D and Weight Loss”). It is well-known that spending more time out in the sunlight can help with depression, so it makes sense that it might be the vitamin D that we get from the sun that is helping the most. You can get enough vitamin D each day with just one hour out in the sunlight, but you can also get the mood-boosting benefits you want by drinking more vitamin D fortified milk and eating vitamin D rich foods like salmon, eggs and cod liver oil.

I’m sure many of you have heard of the feel-good B vitamins. Two of the B vitamins, vitamin B9 (folate) and vitamin B12 seem to be the key to improving mood. It is thought that these vitamins help the body to make serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that stabilizes mood. In fact, I have known a number of people who have had vitamin B shots to lower stress and it seemed to work quite well. In order to harness the mood-uplifting goodness of these vitamins either take a vitamin supplement that contains B vitamins or eat foods that contain them. Foods that are rich in folate include lentils, black-eyed peas, soybeans, oatmeal, beets, broccoli, sunflower seeds, wheat germ and oranges. Foods that are high in vitamin B12 include shellfish, salmon, lean beef, cottage cheese, yogurt, milk and eggs.

The final piece of the puzzle to eating weight loss foods that improve mood is consuming enough omega-3 fatty acids. Not only is this “healthy fat” associated with improving brain function, lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol, preventing heart disease and increasing weight loss (see the post “Omega-3 Improves Insulin and Weight Loss”), but recent research suggests that omega-3 may also help to improve mood and fight depression. To reap all of these great benefits try to include foods that are high in omega-3 in your daily diet. Some of these foods include oily fish (salmon, mackerel and sardines), ground flaxseeds, walnuts, omega-3 fortified eggs, olive oil and canola oil.

It’s true – chocolate is also good for your mood. Not only can eating dark chocolate in moderation help you to lose weight (refer to the post “Chocolate Increases Weight Loss”), but the natural elements of chocolate help raise serotonin in the body. This is a mood-altering chemical that makes us feel better. Chocolate also releases endorphin. When combined with serotonin, a lovely feeling of euphoria can be found, if only for a little while. Enjoy your chocolate, just don’t overindulge.

If you are suffering from long-term depression or stress then please see your doctor as there are medications that do wonders for helping these problems. However, if your mood is temporarily low, try adding these weight loss foods that improve mood to your diet. Not only will they help you to lose weight, but they will make you happier doing it. Well maybe not happier, but you will feel better and you will be healthier for it.

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